Obama: All men’s bathrooms need changing tables

This week President Obama signed the BABIES Act that will surely make all good dads smile.

Judging by the scarcity of proper baby changing facilities in men’s bathrooms you would think that blokes were genetically incapable of being able to detect a dirty nappy, but of course that’s not the case. So in the US they want bathrooms to reflect that diaper duty is every parent’s responsibility and have more dad-inclusive amenities.

This week President Obama, who is also a father-of-two, signed a law requiring all men’s bathrooms have baby-changing stations, at least in public federal buildings, like courthouses or libraries, reports CNN.

While it might seem like a small change it’s a big move in recognising equal parenting and moving away from the idea that child-rearing duties should be left to women – because not only is that offensive to women, but what about families with two dads or those brilliant single dads! The point is, every parent should have access to a clean and safe space to change their child.

The Bathrooms Accessible for Babies in Every Situation Act, or the more commonly referred to BABIES Act, was a bill introduced by Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline in April. On his website Cicilline explained:

“No mum or dad should ever have to worry about finding a safe, sanitary place to change their baby — least of all in a federal building that’s paid for by taxpayers. The BABIES Act is a commonsense proposal that makes government buildings more welcoming for families and helps promote good public health.”

It is hoped that the law will see the changes made in public buildings spread to the private sector so there will be more baby changing stations available to anyone who wants to a safe space to clean their child’s poopy bottom.

This bill is not the first time dads have called for baby changing facilities – dad of one (soon to be two) Ashton Kutcher created a petition in 2015 after he noticed the lack of changing facilities available to fathers. Kutcher’s cause was signed by over 100,000 people and taken up by US NY Senator Brad Hoylman who is currently championing a bill that would make changing tables compulsory in all publicly available restrooms (for instance, restaurants and theaters) in New York City, regardless of gender.

And while the US seems to be on the right track, we did some digging and called some experts and it’s unclear what the laws around baby changing tables are here in Oz but if they’re not dad-inclusive they need to shape up quick smart says the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

“We recognise that there are a number of family, friends and supporters who help parents raise their children,” an ABA spokesperson told The Weekly. “This support is invaluable to helping parents with young children, especially in the early days. Parents and their babies are part of our community and facilities that help them, will make it easier for them to enjoy community life.”

And we couldn’t agree more!

To celebrate POTUS’ new BABIES ACT here’s a bunch of super photos of him with bubs (and clearly Sasha and Malia’s dad is a natural!)

POTUS is a natural with the babies.

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